This weekend brings the arrival of the much-anticipated Philly 10k, a race put together by the well-known running store Philadelphia Runner and a number of local sponsors. Unlike most races in the city with the exception of Broad Street (the only large scale race that comes to mind), this race does not touch Philadelphia’s oft-frequented Kelly Drive/river loop. Instead, it starts and ends in South Philadelphia, starting specifically at East Passyunk Avenue and Reed Street, hitting Midtown Village, Chinatown, Callowhill, Old City, Society Hill, Bella Vista, Pennsport and so forth until it gets back to Tasker and 8th Street, with the finish festival at Tasker and East Passyunk.
The registration period was extremely short and sold out very quickly. At the time I was on the very tail end of graduate school and concerned about budget, stayed clear of the entry fee, priced at $55. Because of the police force and permits necessary for the respective road closure, Philadelphia Runner was justifiably forced to hike the price, and knowing the model as it is, I would not be surprised if they were losing money on the race. The collaboration of multiple volunteer orgs and the community boost that it has gotten has made the race an incredible draw.
Runners receive a finish line beer (assuming they are of age) specifically brewed by the Philadelphia Brewing Company for the race. Admittedly with the exception of their Belgian wheat, which I had at the Broad Street post-race party, I am not a fan of that brewer, but hey, I’ll pass judgment until I have it myself.
In addition, they also receive a Shake Shack Liberty Shell Custard infused with Termini Bros. cannoli.
Now that I have to see, I could see cannoli cream and bits in custard but to actually have a cannoli stuck in there, that would be interesting.
Not to mention they get an awesome race shirt, made of soft cotton.
I decided to volunteer, wanting to be a part of this experience, although to be fair, the perks offered aren’t bad either (as far as I last checked, a $20 giftcard to Philadelphia Runner, a t-shirt, and access to the local eats prepared by businesses for the runners). I have no complaints.
I made a friend, Lessa, in the last month or so who fancies the shorter distances (up to 5 miles) and has made it a personal goal to work her way up to a 10k at some point. Interestingly enough, we have a lot more in common besides running; she had moved to Philadelphia from Oklahoma, wanting to have the experience living in different parts of the country after all her life in her home state. She’s enrolled in a graduate program starting the spring semester, but is enjoying what the city has to offer for now.
I had convinced her to also volunteer with me in South Philly at a water station, wanting her to get an idea of the Philly flair to races, and of course, to have a good time. Not to mention the perks easily won her – and many others – over. Many of my other friends are running the race themselves, so I am looking forward to seeing them.
We’ve been told to report to our water station – we’ll be at Water Station #2 at 4th and Bainbridge, at Mile 5 – very early on as the race starts at 7:30am. Looks like I’ll be headed to bed very early then!
Are you running the race? If so are you ready? Volunteering? How are you giving back?
Be Well Philly has an awesome guide out there for everyone running this race – so if you are new to the area or just not familiar with South Philadelphia, this is a great resource.
Run (or volunteer) happy! I’ll be making a dash to pick up my shirt tomorrow and to check out the Italian Market, a place I haven’t been able to get to in a very long time. I plan on tweeting as I go.